Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Judge Robert P. Frank

Apr 19, 2022

Evidence supports assault conviction

Where two sheriff’s deputies testified identically that appellant punched one of them in the face three times, appellant is not entitled to reversal of his assault and battery conviction on the basis that the deputies’ testimony conflicted regarding some of the details of the incident. Background Eller and Shoop, two Virginia Beach sheriff’s deputies, were […]

Apr 11, 2022

Burglary and larceny convictions upheld

Where the appellant possessed items taken from two homes after the doors were kicked in, the trial court could infer that he committed the breaking and entering of each home. Further, the court was free to disbelieve appellant’s explanation that he bought the items from an individual and did not know they were stolen. The […]

Mar 21, 2022

Prior drug conviction triggers enhanced penalty

Where appellant was previously convicted of possession with intent to distribute imitation cocaine, that conviction qualifies as a predicate offense, which triggers statutory enhanced sentencing penalties for his current conviction for possession with the intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, second offense. Background At trial, the commonwealth “introduced a certified copy of appellant’s [...]

Aug 30, 2021

Pre-existing condition limits disability award

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission correctly determined that claimant had a pre-existing condition that affected her ability to use her hip. Further, the commission correctly determined that although her treating physician opined that she had a 50 percent disability, she was entitled to a 25 percent permanent partial disability after apportioning 25 percent to her […]

Aug 24, 2021

Commonwealth’s jury trial request was not vindictive

Where appellant claims the prosecutor violated his speedy trial rights by vindictively dismissing the charges and reindicting him, the record establishes that the prosecutor dismissed and reindicted due to conflicts in the trial court’s schedule. Overview On Oct. 1, 2018, appellant was indicted on two charges of failing to register as a sex offender. The […]

Aug 4, 2021

Sufficient evidence supports child pornography conviction

Where appellant was convicted of one count of possessing child pornography and 99 counts of possessing child pornography as a second or subsequent offense, there was sufficient evidence that he knowingly possessed the images that the police found on three computer hard drives. Appellant’s apartment “We first address appellant’s contention that the evidence was insufficient […]

Aug 4, 2021

Fully served sentence moots appeal

Although the trial court erred when it ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear appellant’s emergency motion to reconsider his sentence, his appeal is moot because he has fully served his sentence. Moot appeal The trial court stated that it lacked jurisdiction to hear appellant’s emergency motion because appellant had appealed the underlying revocation order […]

Dec 10, 2020

Previously available evidence dooms actual innocence writ

The court denies a petition for a writ of actual innocence because it was based on evidence available to petitioner before his conviction became final in the circuit court. Background On July 27, 2010, petitioner Johnson pleaded guilty to bank robbery. After the plea but before sentencing, Johnson filed several pro se motions alleging ineffective […]

Nov 30, 2020

Dual convictions did not violate double jeopardy

Where appellant was convicted in two different counties for felony eluding, there was no double jeopardy violation. Even though the convictions arose from the same incident, the motorists endangered were not the same in the two counties. Background In Chesterfield County, a state trooper pursued appellant driving a Maserati on a freeway over 90 mph, […]

Nov 13, 2020

Insufficient evidence of possession in drug case

Even though the police discovered documents and court papers bearing appellant’s name in an apartment bedroom, there was insufficient evidence that appellant constructively possessed marijuana and Xanax that was also found in the bedroom. His possession with intent to distribute convictions are reversed. Overview Police executed a search warrant for an apartment on Lakota Drive […]

Nov 13, 2020

Court had authority to correct scrivener’s error

Where the court issued a series of sentencing orders that contained errors, the court had the authority under Code § 8.01-428(B) to modify the orders so the record accurately reflects its rulings. Setting it straight Appellant entered guilty pleas to indecent liberties, which has a one- to 10-year sentence and to possessing child pornography, which […]

Jul 27, 2020

Past rape conviction allowed at bench trial

Even assuming, without deciding, that the trial court erred by admitting a 1989 rape conviction at appellant’s bench trial for three sex crimes, any error was harmless. The minor child’s testimony about appellant’s abuse was corroborated with a DNA test showing appellant impregnated her. Background J.C., the young victim, her siblings and her mother lived […]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests